Super fantastical grid of index cards! #creativity

At the end of the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge my tradition is to look back through the cards that I created [like a treasure hunt] and discover|notice potential starting points for future work. And by that I mean ideas that I could theoretically [wish to] explore in greater depth or on a larger surface. Or a different small surface. It's not a literal thing like "I shall do this exact thing on a canvas" because it never works like that. The idea sort of gets input into the bank of possibilities. I think that we each have motifs and modes of working that we return to time and time again -- yet it's OK to add things that become your new norms. 

Index-Card-a-Day Challenge

This year I created about 80-90 cards, give or take. There are a few where I cannot determine the exact date. Plus, it's an inexact science, isn't it? Counting index cards? Sometimes I create a card and then alter it into oblivion, mix & match it with another card, or it becomes incorporated into another card before I even add it to my count! 

In case you are reading this in the FUTURE [fast forward] and wondering what tips I have for sticking with a creative challenge like a 30-day, 61-day, 100-day, 365-day? I do a LOT of challenges. Here are 31+ notes about creating 186 cards for the Inktober Challenge

Mixed media collages by Tammy Garcia

Each time you participate in a creative challenge that you've done before - the experience is different. You are in a different space in your head, a different place on the learning curve of your art form, constantly adjusting and finding new ways, new materials to impact your work. You also might have more art time at different points in your life.

This year one of my twists that made the challenge more complicated [to facilitate, document and DO] was having a new puppy that never sits still

Mixed media collage by Tammy Garcia

The world around you is different, even the folks that you interact with in the challenge and on social media...  these all have the potential to nudge you in different directions. In some years, you feel more free, and in other years you feel some kind of external judgement that holds you back. The impact might be subtle, or might be quite obvious. Yup. That's just part of the way it works. Keep focusing on the MAKING, and keep moving forward. 

Think about the cards that you most enjoyed creating, and figure out what it is/was that resonates with you. Some creative work strikes you as bad when you initially finish... but later you look back and see something different. You see a thread that you want to take in a fresh direction. You see a color palette that worked. Are some of the cards more personal in nature? Did you use your handwriting? Or cards where you spent more time? Or worked in impromptu fashion? Did you find hidden messages in any of your cards? Did you struggle with some more than others? 

What's New? ⤵️ The Creative Nudge!

ICAD is pure magic for motivating us to MAKE creative stuff. It allows us to establish [or refresh] and try things that we might not try in more formal or weighty work. It gives us an excuse to take risks, play, explore, not worry so much about results. We can choose to make our work more personal if we wish, or embed secret messages, or just not worry about the end result. All of that leads to better art! 

Each year, develop a fun plan to help challengers continue to be enthusiastic about art-making AFTER the challenge wraps up! I know that this is a decision point for each of you. For the last several months, I have been developing a new ebook called The Creative Nudge, a mix of explorations, examples, ideas, and videos. Read more about the nudge here!